Kate Morton was raised in Queensland, Australia. While she has degrees in English Literature and Dramatic Art, she has chosen to pursue a doctoral degree. Kate and her family now live in the Brisbane area.
Photo and bio gotten from Goodreads
The Secret Keeper by Kate Morton
PUBLISHER: Atria Books
PUBLICATION DATE: October 16, 2012
During a summer party at the family farm in the English countryside, sixteen-year-old Laurel Nicolson has escaped to her childhood tree house and is happily dreaming of the future. She spies a stranger coming up the long road to the farm and watches as her mother speaks to him. Before the afternoon is over, Laurel will witness a shocking crime. A crime that challenges everything she knows about her family and especially her mother, Dorothy—her vivacious, loving, nearly perfect mother.
Now, fifty years later, Laurel is a successful and well-regarded actress living in London. The family is gathering at Greenacres farm for Dorothy’s ninetieth birthday. Realizing that this may be her last chance, Laurel searches for answers to the questions that still haunt her from that long-ago day, answers that can only be found in Dorothy’s past.
Dorothy’s story takes the reader from pre–WWII England through the blitz, to the ’60s and beyond. It is the secret history of three strangers from vastly different worlds—Dorothy, Vivien, and Jimmy—who meet by chance in wartime London and whose lives are forever entwined. The Secret Keeper explores longings and dreams and the unexpected consequences they sometimes bring. It is an unforgettable story of lovers and friends, deception and passion that is told—in Morton’s signature style—against a backdrop of events that changed the world.
I’m going to be honest here, when I first started this book I couldn’t stand a dang one of these characters. In all honesty I came pretty close to just returning it to the library. However, I was reading this for the online book club that I’m a part of and since I hadn’t participated in awhile I felt like I HAD to finish it. Again to be completely honest with you, when the date for the chat came up I STILL hadn’t finished the book. I just could not bring myself to care about Dorothy or Laurel, 1940’s Dorothy and 1960’s Laurel that is. Plus I just KNEW that Jimmy was going to get (pardon my French) screwed in the end. Before I get into that let me backup…
The Secret Keeper starts out with a teenage Laurel in the 1960’s being a, let’s face it, typical teenager. She’s hiding out in the treehouse during her baby brother’s birthday and contemplating sneaking out to meet her boyfriend. Laurel thinks nothing of seeing a stranger coming up the lane, it is the 60’s after all, and she thinks even less of her mother bringing her baby brother up to the house for a forgotten cake knife. However, what her mother does next will mar the already tumultuous relationship between a teenage daughter and her mother. We find out that Laurel soon after leaves the family farm and moves to London and in 2011 she’s a famous actress. However, she still remembers what her mother did back in 1960 and she’s determined to find out WHY. As Laurel starts to put the pieces together of Dorothy’s life and her friendship with a girl named Vivien during the 1940’s.
While Laurel is piecing things together in 2011, we the reader, are taken back to the 1940’s and we see how Dorothy’s life starts in Conventry, where much like Laurel, she feels that she doesn’t fit in with her family. Dorothy runs off to London with her boyfriend, Jimmy, and gets a job as a Governess for a wealthy lady. Overtime you start to realize that Dorothy has a sense of entitlement where she makes things bigger in her mind than they actually are. As the story goes on you start to feel for Jimmy, I mean really feel, and dislike Dorothy. However, the absolute BEST part of the book is right before the end. The twist that this book has is out of this world! I totally did not see it coming and I plan on rereading the book just for the twist. YOU should buy and read it just for the twist! To purchase this book, click here.
4.5 out of 5 (only because the beginning did drag a bit)
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